Barbur Concept Plan Goes Before City Council

Tomorrow Portland City Council will vote on adoption of the Barbur Concept Plan.

This plan, completed over 18 months, will help develop the Barbur Corridor responsibly. The building patterns it encourages will help make Barbur a safer place to travel and encourage more active transportation, like walking and bicycling. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance supports the current version of the Barbur Concept Plan.

Our letter of support is especially enthusiastic because the Barbur Concept Plan also includes this spot-on description of the Barbur Bridges:

“Despite the modest grades and presence of bike lanes in much of this segment (SW Hamilton to SW Miles), the motor vehicle speeds, missing bike lanes on the two viaducts and turning conflicts at the Capitol Highway turnoff make conditions unattractive for those who might consider bicycling. People on bicycles would benefit from greater buffering or separation from the travel lanes, as evidenced by several stretches where bike lane striping has been worn away by errant vehicle tires. In addition to improved bicycle accommodations on the Vermont and Newberry viaducts, pedestrians need either a completed sidewalk network or a parallel accessible pathway.

Recognizing the costs associated with complete replacement of the viaducts structures or the addition of parallel bridge structures to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, the community identified an interim low-cost solution. By reducing the number of northbound travel lanes…the current 3-foot wide raised shoulder on the bridges could be expanded to 8 feet in both directions, and a continuous buffered bike lane could likewise be provided.

As BikePortland reported earlier today, Barbur is one of the focuses of the BTA’s soon-to-be-released Blueprint for World-Class Bicycling. The low-cost solution proposed above by the Barbur Concept Plan is the same solution we’ve asked the talented Owen Waltz to illustrate for the Blueprint.


If you would like to voice your support for the Barbur Concept Plan, including this fix to the Barbur Bridges, consider attending tomorrow’s city council meeting at City Hall. The agenda item will be discussed some time after 9:30am.



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Comments (2)

  1. Benjamin Gerritz Permalink  | Apr 23, 2013 09:39pm

    This project needs to happen. Barbur, in its current state, is a bicyclists nightmare. Thank you BTA for supporting common sense projects that make Portland beautiful.

  2. pdxvoice Permalink  | Jun 28, 2013 08:29pm

    I really hope this happens. As someone that attends Portland State University and lives in the SW neighborhoods I would love to ride my bike to school but I’m afraid of that stretch of road. I’ve done it a few times and those two bridges are a nightmare. Cars go very fast in that area and the alternate route of going up through OHSU is not very realistic considering how steep it is compared to Barbur. This could be an amazing route for bicyclists if the proposed concept is passed. Please give this serious consideration!